“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Jacksonville in Duval County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Historic Floral Bluff

Historic Floral Bluff Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 17, 2019
1. Historic Floral Bluff Marker
Floral Bluff Plantation, originally part of a land granted to Italian immigrant Francis Richard by Spanish government in the 1790s, occupied over a half mile of riverfront property. Robert Bigelow, a Connecticut native and graduate of Yale University, and his new wife Elizabeth Ann Richard, granddaughter of Francis Richard, moved on the land shortly after their marriage in 1832. Although a slave owner, Robert Bigelow took no part in the Civil War and died shortly after the war in 1868. He and Elizabeth and other family members are buried in the family cemetery on the plantation property.

The bigelow family occupied several houses on the land throughout the years , but the home locally referred to as the Bigelow Manson was situated on top of the bluff overlooking the St. Johns River near what is now Plantation Drive. The home was featured in silent movies filmed in the area in the early part of the twentieth century, and burned on Christmas Eve in 1950.

In 1887 a portion of the land was subdivided and developed by Gilbert H. Shepard, who also served as the first postmaster for the community he named after the plantation
Historic Floral Bluff Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 17, 2019
2. Historic Floral Bluff Marker
– Floral Bluff. The town’s dock, located at the end of Floral Bluff Avenue, became the center of activity. Albert Frieseke owned and operated a general store. Women of the community formed their own club and met in a building on the dock. Horses and buggies were often left all day, patiently awaiting their owners’ return from Jacksonville.

The Floral Bluff post office closed in 1919 and Frieseke’s store moved to the corner of Floral Bluff Avenue and Chaseville Road (now University Boulevard.) That location later was also the site of several small grocery stores including Etters, Cottens, and Brinsons. Eventually, like other small but once vibrant communities in the Old Arlington area , Floral Bluff slowly lost its separate identity. In 1997 twelve homes in Floral Bluff community were documented with the State of Florida as historic resources, including one dating back to 1887.
Erected 2009 by Old Arlington Inc.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesSettlements & Settlers.
Location. 30° 20.578′ N, 81° 36.346′ W. Marker is in Jacksonville, Florida, in Duval County. Marker is at the intersection of Floral Bluff Road and Catlin Drive, on the left when traveling west on Floral
Historic Bigelow cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 17, 2019
3. Historic Bigelow cemetery Marker
Marker located at historic Bigelow Cemetery
Bluff Road. Just inside Bigelow cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jacksonville FL 32211, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley (approx. 0.6 miles away); Arlington - A Unique Community (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Crossroads (approx. 0.7 miles away); Arlington Grammar School No. 46 (approx. ¾ mile away); Norman Silent Film Studios (approx. one mile away); Jacksonville And The Movie Industry (approx. one mile away); Frederick W. Bruce (approx. 1.1 miles away); Historic Strawberry Plantation (approx. 1½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jacksonville.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 3, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 8, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 108 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 8, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Jan. 20, 2021